Rural Debt and Drought Taskforce to visit Burdekin

The Rural Debt and Drought Taskforce will visit the Burdekin on Thursday, January 14, 2016 to help identify and recommend solutions to address the debt issues faced by local primary producers, the agribusiness sector and the community at large.

Mayor Cr Bill Lowis urged all Burdekin farmers who were facing debt issues exacerbated by ongoing drought conditions to attend the public meeting which will be held at the Burdekin Theatre, Ayr from 11am-12.45pm.

“The agricultural sector makes a substantial contribution to our economy, so it’s important we address the difficulties faced by our drought-affected farmers,” Mr Lowis said.

“The serious issue of rural debt has been intensified by years without a decent wet season which has finally, thankfully been formally recognised by the Burdekin being drought declared.

“Rural debt is having a real impact on people’s lives and if our primary producers, financial service providers and stakeholder organisations can work together with the Rural Debt and Drought Taskforce to expose and examine debt issues the taskforce will be able to propose policy responses that will contribute to forming the ongoing support and assistance Government can offer to drought-affected farmers.”

The Taskforce will be chaired by the Member for Mount Isa Rob Katter and will include Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden, Member for Nanango (Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Deb Frecklington, AgForce representative Russell Lethbridge, Queensland Farmers Federation representative Ruth Wade, Winton Shire Councillor Emma Forster, Senior Lecturer Queensland University of Technology Mark McGovern and Real Estate and Livestock Agent Andrew Jensen.

Following the public meeting from 11am-12.45pm, attendees will have the opportunity to meet privately with member/s of the Rural Debt and Drought Taskforce from 1.15-2pm. If you would like to prearrange a meeting time contact Secretariat John Daniels on (07) 3224 6415.

Public submissions can be made in writing via Submissions close on Monday, January 11, 2016.

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